Move from Hand Mixing to 3K Positive Displacement Saves $84,000

Finisher expects new mixing equipment to pay for itself in less than two years.

Equipment finisher cuts costs and improves quality with ProMix PD3K

CUSTOMER: Agriculture and construction equipment finisher

GRACO EQUIPMENT: ProMix PD3K

CHALLENGE: The integrity of protective coatings relies heavily on good chemistry. That’s why an independent finisher was looking for better ways to keep precise component ratios in the solvent borne urethane paint used to coat large agricultural and construction equipment.

Painters did their best to hand mix the right combination of resin, catalyst and solvent for each job. But they couldn’t afford to run short on paint; so at least one gallon went to waste in the pressure pot. At $75 to $100 per gallon, costs quickly added up.

As material approached the end of its pot life, it would thicken and not flow well, causing poor paint spray. This was especially a problem during lengthy jobs, such as coating a large grain trailer.

To prevent runs and get adequate coverage with a certain color, painters had to mix in less solvent. The different component ratio made job preparation and cleanup inconvenient and time-consuming.

SOLUTION: The finishing operation moved from manually mixing five to 15 gallons at a time in a pressure pot to using three-component positive displacement (PD) technology.

Working with their local distributor and Graco representatives, painters integrated the Pro Xs Electrostatic Spray Guns they already were using into a ProMix PD3K system. 

  • Three PD pumps supply components – resin, catalyst and reducing solvent – on ratio within 1 percent.  
  • Mix manifolds combine the components near the gun, not in a pressure pot. Mixing only what’s needed for each job significantly reduces cleanup time, solvent use, and wasted paint. 

RESULTS: The finisher used to write a monthly check of $22,000 to cover coating costs. That check shrunk to no more than $15,000 after their ProMix PD3K installation. With an annual savings of at least $84,000, the new three-component positive displacement (PD) system should pay for itself in less than two years.

The agriculture and construction equipment finisher also calculated savings with certain types of jobs.

Job type Pressure pot mix amount PD3K mix amount Material savings
Multiple electrical transformer boxes     5 gallons     2 to 2.5 gallons     40 to 50 percent    
36-foot trailer 8 gallons     6.5 gallons     19 percent    

Painters are noticing a better finish quality through the entire paint job. They no longer need to compensate for poor paint flow toward the end of long jobs. Since the material viscosity is more consistent and the droplet size smaller, paint spray penetrates corners and other areas they couldn’t easily cover before.

Better yet, a top customer noticed a considerable improvement in the finish of their trailers. Such quality improvements have secured business for years to come.

Free WEbinar

Plural Component Mixing: How to Calculate ROI

Plural Component Mixing: How to Calculate ROI

This 30-minute, on-demand webinar covers how to calculate the return on investment (ROI) for plural component mixing equipment.

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